We conclude our second annual John Byrne month with a classic "Fastball Special". Have no fear, there's plenty of John Byrne X-Men left to post! 'Til next time!
Friday, November 29, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
Perhaps the most well-known Unpublished X-Men story was the original ending to X-Men #137, where Jean Grey lived. Of course, this was rectified rather quickly when the story was published in Phoenix: The Untold Story in 1984. This issue publishes the entire story with the original five page ending that was changed due to an edict by Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter.
According to Wikipedia:
"The ending of the story was a matter of intense controversy with the editorial staff. Jim Shooter's recollections are that the original intent of the Dark Phoenix storyline was to introduce Dark Phoenix as a cosmic nemesis for the X-Men. This was what had been discussed originally amongst the creative team and Shooter, and this was the story development that had been approved. When Uncanny X-Men issue 135 was in the final artwork stages, Shooter happened to look at the proofs for the issue and noticed that the story included the destruction of an inhabited solar system, with an explicit mention of billions of lives lost. Louise Simonson feels it was Shooter's outrage over this plot element which led to him taking editor Jim Salicrup off the series several issues earlier than he'd been scheduled to."
"Shooter, during a conversation with Claremont, suggested a scenario where Jean would be permanently imprisoned as a compromise, and Claremont responded that such a scenario was unfeasible since in his opinion, the X-Men would want to continually try to rescue Jean from imprisonment. Shooter claims that Claremont suggested having Jean die at the end out of frustration. Although Shooter claims that the suggestion was a bluff by Claremont, playing on the unwritten rule that main characters were not to be killed permanently, he accepted the idea. Ultimately, it was decided by Byrne and Claremont to have Jean commit suicide after her Dark Phoenix persona resurfaces at the climax of the fight against the Imperial Guard. Issue 137 was left largely unchanged, but the last five pages were completely rewritten and redrawn for the new ending, and Claremont also took the opportunity to write a second draft of his script. Because of this, comparison of the original and published versions of X-Men #137 reveals numerous differences in the script with no connection to the ending; for instance, in the original version of the day of rest, the individual X-Men are each thinking of their own personal issues, while the published version shows them reflecting on their decision to protect Jean."
"The original ending ultimately saw print in 1984 in Phoenix: The Untold Story. Besides the original version of Uncanny X-Men #137, it featured a transcript of a round table discussion between Claremont, Byrne, Simonson, Salicrup, Shooter, and inker Terry Austin, discussing the story behind the original ending and why it was changed."
On a side note, in theory this issue is supposed to take place in the alternate reality in which Rachel Summers is born, leading to Days of Future Past.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Byrnerobotics.com features a post by a longtime friend of John Byrne, Cory Vandernet, who found a list planned storylines through Uncanny X-Men #150. One story was the death of Wolverine's love, Mariko, after a vicious attack at the hands of Sabretooth.
Finally, he can take it no longer. He begs Jean and Xavier to do something, to save her. Xavier scans her and makes a sad discovery. She is brain dead. Only the machines are keeping her alive. Wolverine refuses to believe it. But Jean links his mind to Mariko, and he feels the emptiness where her soul used to be. He asks to be left alone with her. Xavier and Jean depart, to wait outside. Wolverine sits by Mariko's beside, holding her hand, stroking her hair. He rises. He looks at the machines that are maintaining her life functions. In a sudden, swift movement he pops his claws and slashes the power cables. The machines fizzle and shut down. Outside, in the hall, Jean and X have both "felt" what has happened. They move toward the door, but Wolverine comes out before they can enter. He stands for a moment in silence, looking at them. Finally he speaks. "She ain't meat," he says softly. And in an instant, he is gone, disappearing down a stairway.
Next issue, he finds and, in the most horrifying battle the Code would allow, kills Sabretooth (who was, at this point, to be revealed as his father.)
Regarding the above image, Cory writes:
Friday, November 8, 2013
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Before Dave Cockrum drew Wolverine's face, there was much speculation as to what he would look like. John Byrne came up with this design, which was later used for Sabretooth, with some changes. This was the genesis of the idea that Wolverine and Sabretooth would be related.
After looking at the original 1976 version of Logan’s face, John tried his hand at doing it again. He wrote: "Morning’s exercise: the same face, with thirty five years of additional experience driving the pencil…"
Friday, November 1, 2013
You can just make out some of the changes from the original sketch in this inked Colossus drawing by Art Adams. From Marvel Comics of the 1980's.